One of those moments

Memaw gave me this framed picture for Christmas. I believe she has this print in her house because it already reminded me of her before she gifted it to me.

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With it came a typed note to explain that when Truman hit his head on my parents' foosball table over Thanksgiving, she immediately thought about how someone must have been watching over my little boy during that incident. It still boggles my mind to think about how badly he could have been injured because I still hear the loud SMACK ringing in my ears months later. How did he not smash his eyeball, losing his vision? What about the bridge of his little nose? Or all of his front teeth? How is it possible that he fell 'perfectly' into the table and only got a small cut on the outside of his eye that didn't need stitches, along with a wicked shiner? I have to agree with Memaw on this one. An angel must have prevented a horrible injury in my parents' basement.

I don't know how you feel about God and faith and angels. Obviously all three of these concepts are fairly abstract and difficult to 'prove', which is why so many people can't accept them for reality. I'm not sure about a floating spirit with wings in the literal sense, but I do believe that there are times when we have God or something else very kind and loving watching out for us. Guiding us through dark times. Even though God doesn't stop all awful things from happening to us, I do believe he wants the best for us and has our backs in most cases.

This post wasn't supposed to be a debate about religion and angels, so I hope I didn't just open up the proverbial can of worms. But I wanted to tell you a story about Truman and his discovery of this picture Memaw gave to me.

On Good Friday, the kids were in my bedroom with me as I got dressed after a shower. Truman was running around the room like a mad man, as always and suddenly he noticed this picture sitting on the bottom shelf of my side table.

'Who is that, Mommy?' he asked me.

'Oh, that's a picture Memaw gave to me. It's an angel watching over a little boy and girl as they cross a bridge. I think the angel is protecting the kids while they are walking,' I replied, holding my breath that he wouldn't be too freaked out about the idea of a giant, winged person hovering over children. But he was shockingly silent for minutes. Let's remember that he is three and therefore he is NEVER silent for minutes. Heck, nothing holds his attention for longer than 1 minute so it was a pretty big deal to see him quietly staring at the picture. I wish I could have peeked into his little brain as the wheels were turning.

I asked him, 'Do you like that picture, buddy?'

'Yeah. I do. Can I take it with me into the hallway?' he wanted to know, because I told him I was moving into the bathroom next, to fix my hair.

'Sure you can, buddy,' I told him and I started getting a little choked up. My precious boy---who loves to push my buttons when the mood suits him---was really attached to this image of an angel watching over two children. There was just something kind of surreal and 'stop everything and pay attention' about that moment for me. Which is why I'm blogging about it now.

He ended up laying on the ground, looking at the picture even longer and then asked to move it into Cecelia's room with us. I didn't know what to ask him at this point but I hoped he would ask me his questions about it.

Next thing I knew, he pointed right at the angel and said, 'That's you, mommy.' (Heart melted). (Gulp).

I told him that I loved the idea of mommy watching over a little boy and girl, which could be Truman and Cecelia. One of each, holding hands and crossing the bridge together--venturing out on their own, or perhaps 'growing up' and becoming more independent. Moving away from constant care from their parents and out into the huge world before them. I mean, talk about some symbolism. Let's not focus on the fact that Truman said I looked angelic (and ghostly pale, and a little eerie, with enormous black eyebrows).

He seemed to like my explanation of these three characters, so I went on to say that any time I have to leave Truman I always think of him. Lately we've been talking about how we miss each other when we are apart. On our drive back home from Lori's he will usually tell me, 'I missed you today, mommy.' It's really amazing--my tender-hearted boy. I'd like to promise I can watch over him and protect him from anything scary but of course, but wouldn't we all wish for that superpower in this frightening world?

As a mom, I think that is the hardest part of parenting: knowing you cannot protect them from pain. They will have to make mistakes, have broken hearts, and have their innocence revoked at some point. Oh, it hurts my heart just to think of anyone being cruel to my kids. It makes me angry, actually, but it's also sad to think about bullies and peer pressure and having to navigate our society. I suppose that is all apart of growing up and our parents survived us going through each stage, and we will survive, too. All the more reason to savor their innocence now---even when Truman is being downright naughty, the whiny/needy stuff is still probably easier to tolerate than the heavy emotional fatigue that comes with parenting a middle-schooler/high-schooler and beyond. I'm tired as heck right now and parenting small kids is ridiculously hard; physically hard. But I can't even imagine the emotions that will come with parenting a teenager. And I won't even talk about parenting a teenage girl in this post---we'll keep it mostly about my son for now;)

I told Truman that God and maybe even angels are always with him and his sister even if mommy can't be right there. Then I told him that I love him more than he will ever know and I miss him when we are apart. I didn't tell him that I also crave my time alone in order to maintain my sanity. It's all about balance and on the days I feel well-balanced, I feel like I can conquer the world. Just wish those balanced days happened more often but I'll take those rare beauties any time they pop up.

Not only did Truman tell me I was the angel in the painting, but he is now also telling me (without being asked): "Mommy, you are my best friend." Sigh.

I don't think there is anything sweeter in the entire world than that statement right there. So I shall video tape it and watch it every night when he is 16 and hates his lame/overbearing/annoying/dorky mom. And I will probably cry in the corner, while watching my precious three year old say I'm his best friend. Because I kind of want to cry now just thinking about it. Let's hope he is a mama's boy forever and his future wife not only understands, but adores me. One can hope, right? ;)

Thank you God for this precious boy of mine. Help me to be patient with him. And help me create more time for myself so I can be a better mother to him when we are together. Thank you for those moments when the world stops and becomes very clear--remind me to slow down and appreciate them more often.

21 comments:

  1. That is so sweet! You are such a great mom! (from a random blog follower :) ) I know Heavenly Father watches over us and although can't prevent every bad thing from happening to us, he does love us and have our backs! I totally agree! Trials are necessary to grow. It almost seems so obvious sometimes that these little spirits of ours were just with God in heaven, the way they look at pictures of Jesus and angels. I love it! They're so pure and perfect how can you not believe that? Minus the driving us nuts part . . But they're not held accountable yet! Haha

    Also someone once told me when your children are small, your problems are small. When your children are big, your problems are big. So true! Binkies and tantrums are small stresses in the scheme of things. I too try to enjoy this hard phase. Okay sorry for rambling. Love your blog!

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  2. ohhh, i'm tearing up! The best friend comment kills me. How sweet and such a lovely post/moment to share.

    So crazy about his eye, I was hit with a field hockey stick probably in a similar spot when I was 10 (outside corner of my eye, but did need stitches) and my mom and I still talk about what if it hit just half inch over at my eye... it's crazy how things like that happen!

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  3. What a beautiful post, Julia. I, and probably most mothers, know those fears and feelings all too well. Don't know how any mother ever bears to have her child hurt, emotionally or physically. Having these little people who we love so much and knowing that we have to send them out into the big, scary world one day - it's almost too much to bear!

    What a sweet gift from Memaw - I have a very similar picture that I got for my First Communion.

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  4. What a beautiful post.

    I can speak firsthand that parenting teenage girls (my stepdaughters are 14 1/2 and 16) is very trying at times, but also really wonderful. They live with us full-time, and it is so hard to not be able to protect them from the hurt they feel, especially from someone who is SUPPOSED to love and protect them as much as their father and I do. They want to believe the best in certain people, and want to be able to trust the people they are SUPPOSED to be able to trust. That is the hardest thing...when the hurt keeps coming and all you can do is be there to hold them when they cry.

    A wonderful post. Thank you for this.

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  5. That is a beautiful post and a great reminder to me to be more patient with my son. I also have an angel story for you.
    When i was about 3 my mom and dad were having severe problems and almost got divorced. My mom was a stay at home mom, out of the work force, dependent on my dad for everything, scared our of her mind. My uncle and aunt were extremely religious and they came over to be with my mom and pray for her. They were so religious it wasn't uncommon to hear them speaking in tongues, etc. They were all sitting at the table praying and i said who is that man behind you Mommy? Everyone stopped and looked and no one was there. My uncle said what does he look like child, and i pointed to a picture of either an angel or Jesus on the wall. I said he had his hand on my moms shoulder. They often say angels appear to comfort you and that innocent children can see them. So i def believe in angels. I pray every night and thank God for my beautiful children and i try to never take any of my blessings for granted.

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  6. I needed this more than I realized. I've really been struggling with E lately and my patience has grown very thin. We all need reminders occasionally to savor these moments. They are fleeting. There is nothing quite like the faith and innocence of a child to remind us of our lack of faith. What a great story and a awesome memory. Also, what a great way for Truman to have someplace/someone to feel safe with (God) when mom or dad aren't there. I know as a child I felt that way.

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  7. Beautiful post, Julia! It is so crazy to see our kids stop and actually THINK about things and take it all in and then come up with the sweetest thing ever to say. They really are amazing.

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  8. I love this post!

    Also, I had that SAME picture hanging in my room growing up. Then the first time I visited my now in-laws house I saw the same photo hanging up in their hallway. So both my husband and I grew up with the same angel photo in our homes. I want to get one for my sons room.

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  9. One of my favorite posts! It brought tears to my eyes. Our babes are so innocent and precious.....I just want to drink it up.

    And I'm with you 1000%. I believe in angels and I know they are watching over us and our kids. Like that situation with Truman, I had instances growing up where I SHOULD have been hurt, or worse. There are two situations that come to mind where I cannot physically explain how I was rescued from bodily harm....like some invisible force was pushing me away. I know it sounds crazy but to me that's a perfectly sound explanations.

    T and C are so blessed to have you as their mommy! Keep up the good work, mama.

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  10. This is a beautiful story. As usual you have the ability to make me cry! Truman is so sweet.

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  11. Julia, this was a good one!! I'm not a mom yet, but already feel protective of my unborn babies. Maybe mommies aren't supposed to get over that. If it helps, though, I just married a man who loves his mama! And I'm crazy about her too. So there's hope!

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  12. This was beautiful Julia. It got me all teary momentd like those is what I love most about mommyhood. God bless your son and your cute little family :)

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  13. This was beautiful Julia. It got me all teary momentd like those is what I love most about mommyhood. God bless your son and your cute little family :)

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  14. Given that today is Lily's birthday and I am an emotional basket case I should not have read this today!! I love you, you are such a beautiful mother and a talented writer. <3

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  15. Beautiful post, Julia. Our children, even though young, are so intuitive. I love the little conversations I get to have with my boys. Brigham just started calling me his best friend too! Must be the right age for it :)

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  16. Oh my goodness... what a sweet boy your Truman is. This parenting gig can be toughie, but it is the sweetest, heart stopping, and most rewarding jobs ever isn't it?

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  17. Love Love Love this post. So well described and so how a Mother feels. Thanks for sharing this story Julia!

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  18. Lovvveee this!!! It reminds us all to stop and slow down :)

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  19. Thank you for this post, Julia. Your insight and honesty is lovely. I definitely teared up on this one!

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